Award-Winning Writer Delights Others With Her Rhyming Poems

I’ve always admired people who can write good poems that rhyme. My attempts at rhyming have been juvenile. About a couple of years ago, I met Lorraine Brown through a poetry critique group, and I was very impressed to see her large portfolio of rhyming poetry. She’s so prolific that she makes rhyming look easy to do–which it’s not.

I recently interviewed this multi-talented person, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about her and reading a couple of her poems.  Incidentally, Lorraine has a delightful blog, http://www.lorrainelorrainelorraine.blogspot.com, where you can learn more about her and her poetry.

1) Tell us about your professional background.

My professional background is multi-dimensional. I’ve been an actress for many years (mostly commercials for t.v. and radio). I’ve done  corporate training videos as the voice of instruction for employees and for customers.  I have been fortunate to work with many different companies as their representative both on-camera as well as a live presenter/narrator at various trade shows and corporate training events.  I’ve been a model since childhood.  I was co-owner of Cheerleaders, Inc. and Co-Founder of The Chicago Luv-A-Bulls (Bulls NBA Cheerleaders). We began the squad in 1979, managing and performing at the NBA games.  I am also a licensed real estate broker. I guess my blog is appropriately titled “A Multi-Dimensional Life.”

2) When did you start writing poetry?

I started writing poetry when I was a child, probably around ten years old.  I remember my first poem.  I came home from an “exhausting” day of sledding (wink) and jotted down a rhyme about the events of the day.  It wasn’t bad, and friends and family found it quite humorous.  From time to time, I’d think of a rhyme, usually after some observation I had made and the poems began to multiply.  Prior to poetry, I began to take an interest in writing short stories after my fourth grade teacher wanted to publish one of my stories.  It was her encouragement which ignited the spark inside me to write more.

3) What do you love about writing poetry?

Writing is therapeutic.  It expands my imagination and keeps me searching for new ways to express life’s experiences or observations.  I can get lost in the words if I’m not careful, meaning that I have to manage my time effectively or the writing process might carry me away for hours.  I find that when I create, I’m most fulfilled.  It gives me joy.

4) You write a lot of poetry that rhymes, and have won awards for it. Could you share two of your award-winning poems?

I’d love to.  Below is “Cheaters,”  my First Place winning poem in the Highland Park Poetry.Org’s 2010 Funny Poetry Contest:

Cheaters

My husband calls me four eyes,
How rude of him to say.
It reminds me I’m getting older,
Along with all the gray!

The lenses change my point of view,
It’s amazing how well I can see,
Of course, when I don’t wear them…
He looks better to me!

Now I carry these cheaters everywhere with me,
Except when I can’t find them…
Am I also losing my memory?!

It’s uncomfortable to face the facts I’ve tried desperately to deny,
But the time has come to just give in ‘cuz my vision doesn’t lie!

I’d rather see what’s in front of me,
Than trying to pretend
That I’m still the girl I used to be…
A fib I can’t defend!

The day I gave in to the specs
Was the day I found liberty,
‘Cuz it was more than simple text that I was finally able to see!
Even though I still struggle with carrying them around,
It’s not as monumental as the freedom I have found.

So he can make fun of my cheaters,
His day is coming too,
When he’ll have as many eyes as me
And a clear point of view!

Even though when I don’t wear them…
My hubby looks better to me,
With two eyes or with four,
I still love what I see… Oh sweet liberty!!!

And, below, on a serious note, is  “Looking Back At Me.” It took First Place  in Highland Park Poetry.Org’s contest (Summer 2011) in the Reminiscing Category:

Looking Back At Me

I thought I heard her voice today,

I thought she called my name,

Like a melody, a familiar tune just steps away,

As each year passes I see more of her in me, in little things I do or say.

 

My brother said I sounded just like her on the phone,

I laughed and said I see her in the mirror,

He chuckled and he sounded just like dad,

Then we cried together as we wished they were still here.

 

Mom’s antics and humor made everyone laugh,

Dad giggled at his own jokes and his made up words,

We tell the stories again and again,

As if they’ve never been heard.

 

It’s our way of holding onto

The precious times we knew…

Guarding these moments, we hang on tight,

Clinging to the memories, preventing them from flight,

 

Their laughter, their voices, their joy, their songs,

The sounds of their lives are for which we long,

And though we are missing them with all our hearts,

There is nothing that can tear our bond apart.

 

For I thought I heard her voice today,

I thought she called my name,

Like a melody, a familiar tune just steps away,

As each year passes I see more of her in me, in little things I do or say.

 

I thought my brother sounded just like dad on the phone,

He laughed and said he sees him in the mirror,

I chuckled and he said I sounded just like mom,

Then we cried together as we wished they were still here.

 

In addition, I’ve been published in Poetry Cram Volumes 9, 10 & 11, sponsored by ChicagoPoetry.com.

5) Besides rhyming poems, what other types of poetry/writing do you do?

I do enjoy the style of haiku because of its connection to nature, and senryu really energizes me because I love humor. The creative process of these two forms of poetry really stretch me.  Actually all types of creating give me joy…from writing poetry or short stories, song lyrics; and motivational stories, both fiction and non-fiction; cooking and creating original recipes; designing for the home; acting; photography.  When I create, I feel God’s presence….I consider it all a gift which I thoroughly enjoy. My blog features my writing, photography and recipes.

6) What inspires you to write poetry, and how often do you write it?

Sometimes I am inspired by a life event, whether personal or something I’ve observed around me.  From time to time, something jumps out at me and I have to quickly write it down.  I keep my micro-cassette recorder handy for those times when I can’t write things down and it helps me to capture a thought.  I may be driving or walking my dog, sitting by the lake or just having a quiet time at home, gazing out the window.  I might be at work and hear something profound and register it in my mind for later.  All of life’s observations lead to my creative process.  I might reflect on happy times and want to record it in a poem or short story.  I might also reflect on sad times or a difficult situation and a song lyric might develop.  We all have a story…our very own unique tapestry… and our story can provide a wealth of material to draw from.

7) What advice would you give to poets who’d like to write rhyming poems?

I believe that rhyme, just as non-rhyme comes from a personal style or talent that we each possess.  If you are not sure if rhyme is your style, you’ll never know unless you try.  A good way to become inspired is to read as much as possible of the style of poetry you are drawn to.  If you begin a poem and become stalled, leave it alone for a while then go back to it later.  You might be surprised what happens when you pick it back up.  The words, the rhyme, the flow might come easier to you after being away from it for a short (or even long) time.   If it is your desire, don’t give up.  Keep trying.  Keep writing.  Be kind to yourself and enjoy.  If you find that you are forcing it and not finding pleasure in it, then remember to be yourself…find your own personal style.

Great advice, Lorraine! Thanks for sharing.

Copyright 2012 by Charlotte Digregorio.

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About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 38 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I am also the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 39 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended and praised by hundreds of reviewers, critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I have signed books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I was also self-employed as a communications/public relations/marketing consultant with 93 clients in 16 states. I have won several awards for my poetry. I am an internationally-published haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, free verse, acrostic, cinquain and sestina poet. My poetry has been translated into six languages, and I have done poetry readings at a variety of bookstores, libraries, art centers and galleries. My poetry has been displayed at supermarkets, art galleries, libraries, apparel and wine shops, banks, and on public transit. I've been interviewed on cable television about my poetry. I also hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give special lectures and workshops on publishing, publicity, and creativity to business and professional groups, and to those at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and to libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I am Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America.
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16 Responses to Award-Winning Writer Delights Others With Her Rhyming Poems

  1. The poems are whimsical and charming. Certainly have more depth than the junk they publish in The New Yorker and such. e e cummings one of my favs.

  2. Lorraine says:

    Charlotte, thank you for sharing my poems. I’m honored!
    Your writing talents and your knowledge and wisdom are an inspiration to me and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and so appreciate your talents. Thank you for the privilege of being featured here on your blog and for your kindness, always!

    Carl, thank you. I appreciate your kind words!

  3. Charlotte and Lorraine, Enjoyed this post very much, on many levels! Ellen

  4. Lorraine says:

    Thanks so much, Ellen!

  5. Beautiful post! So nice to meet you Charlotte!
    I’ve been a friend of Lorraines for a while now through the avenue of blogging.
    What a beautiful person she is and I have been deeply touching by her writings.
    The poem about her parents moves me to tears.
    What a gift she has, and she is beautiful both inside and out

    Deborah :)

    • Thanks for writing, Deborah! I’m glad you appreciate Lorraine’s work as much as I do. Her poetry is a joy to read. I wish you much success, too, with your writing! Please keep in touch.
      Best wishes,
      Charlotte

  6. Liz says:

    What a delightful interview! Lorraine you are multidimensional AND multitalented…and one of the nicest bloggers I know!!!

  7. Lorraine says:

    Deborah! Liz!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! I feel the same way about both of you and I’m so grateful that the world of blogging has brought you into my life! You both inspire me with your talents and your beautiful hearts!

  8. Deb says:

    We each carry a special gift or talent from the Hand of God, but Lorraine has been gifted with numerous talents – too many to mention! It looks like God went ahead and piled a hundred gifts on the doorstep to her soul…

  9. Dave Mowers says:

    Thank You Charlotte for your blog and post on rhyme. I thank myself I made the time, turned my reading wheel’s pleasure so sublime then continuing on for you to find; a pleasant reply in post of mine.

    Cheers,

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